Tired of dinner and a movie? 11 service projects for date night

When your date night ideas are running low, consider volunteering as a couple. Here are some ways for you and your spouse to help others.

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  • After a while, it seems like you and your spouse have done every possible date activity. You’ve seen more movies than you can count. You’ve tried every restaurant in town. You’ve gone shopping, gone to the zoo, and gone crazy trying to find something else to do.

  • Have you considered using your time to serve someone else? Date night provides the time and moral support for getting out of your comfort zone and offering your help to someone in need, so check out these ideas and make someone’s life a little better.

  • 1. Serve dinner at a food pantry or homeless shelter

  • By serving dinner to less fortunate people, we can share two things that are essential for life: food, and a loving smile that says “it’s going to be OK."

  • 2. Visit a nursing home

  • Many elderly people are lonesome, bored, and unhappy about their failing health. Read books aloud, play an instrument, or just sit and get to know them. You might bring some incredible wisdom home with you in exchange.

  • 3. Leave anonymous notes of kindness

  • When I was in college, I regularly left notes on windshields that read, “Smile! God loves you.” You don’t necessarily need to wander parking lots with pen and paper, but you could have a date during which you leave a nice note for every stranger you meet.

  • 4. Cuddle babies at a hospital or orphanage

  • Babies need a lot of love, and the warmth of their tiny, precious bodies may give you something you’ve been needing, too.

  • 5. Go to the animal shelter and walk the dogs

  • Animals need love, and it’s often hard for them to get enough when they are locked up day after day. Just make sure you talk it over with your spouse before you “accidentally” bring one home.

  • 6. Donate blood.

  • As natural disasters seem to become more and more frequent, the need for donated blood grows. If you are healthy and comfortable with needles, why not share a little of yourself (literally) with someone who really needs it?

  • 7. Make a gift for someone

  • You may be surprised how much people appreciate the tangible results of your skills. You could knit a hat, construct a spice rack, or plant an herb garden for them. Whatever you end up doing, keep their needs in mind as you choose what gift to give.

  • 8. Babysit someone's kids

  • My husband and I have many friends that have small children so it’s hard to invite them over to our apartment. Instead, we offer to watch the kids at their house while they go on a date. We bring games, crafts, or even science projects, and it’s a ton of fun.

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  • 9. Make cookies for your neighbors

  • You never know if someone is having a bad day and could use a little friendly conversation and a sweet treat.

  • 10. Help someone move

  • Relocating is a daunting experience, so why not offer to bear some of that burden? Packing boxes can be fun with the right music and a handful of friends.

  • 11. Clean up litter

  • Encourage others to respect the environment by cleaning it up yourself. After all, if you have to look at it on the way to the store, you might as well enjoy the view.

  • Yes, date night is certainly a time to interact with your spouse. Why not combine that interaction with service for others? Consider the interests of your spouse and yourself (children, food, or the outdoors) and choose a volunteer opportunity that will make something you care about a little better. While you and your spouse are only two people, even two people can make a difference.

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Sara Hagmann is a stay-at-home wife and writer who loves traveling, cooking, and kissing her husband. A lot.

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